The Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings will get us started in Week 14 as these two clubs meet on "Thursday Night Football" tonight from Minneapolis. Both of these teams are coming off games last Sunday that went down to the wire. For Pittsburgh, they were on the winning side of things as they were able to fend off the Ravens. As for the Vikings, they gave up a walk-off touchdown from Jared Goff that gave the Detroit Lions their first win of the season. Clearly, Minnesota will be trying to get the sour taste from that loss out of its mouths on Thursday, while Pittsburgh still lurks around the AFC playoff picture.
Below, we'll specifically be looking at the different betting angles that this matchup has in store for us. We'll be taking a look at how the lines have moved throughout the week leading into Thursday night and, of course, give you our picks for this game along with a handful of our favorite player props.
All NFL odds via Caesars Sportsbook.
How to watch
This line opened at Vikings -4. However, that number has dipped a full point since Minnesota handed the Detroit Lions its first win of the season in Week 13. It fell to Vikings -3.5 on Sunday evening and was down to Vikings -3 by Monday morning where it currently sits.
The pick: Steelers +3. Minnesota is tough to trust in this spot. They are under .500 on the season ATS and have kept a large chunk of their games close, which leans favorably toward taking the points with Pittsburgh. The Vikings are also not one of the most disciplined teams either as they have the third-most penalty yards in the NFL entering Week 14. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh defense has come on as of late, spearheaded by the MVP play of pass-rusher T.J. Watt. With the Vikings possibly being without their starting left tackle Christian Darrisaw (ankle), receiver Adam Thielen (ankle), and running back Dalvin Cook (shoulder), they could have issues scoring against a Steelers defense that is tied for the fourth-lowest red-zone conversion rate in the NFL.
Key trend: Vikings are 0-6 in the last six games as a home favorite.
The total for this game has also seen some movement coming out of Sunday's action. After opening at 45.5, this number has dipped two full points as of Wednesday morning to 43.5.
The pick: Under 43.5. While the Steelers were able to get the win last week, their offense still has some lumps. They are averaging 5 yards per play (tied for fourth-lowest in the NFL) coming into this matchup. Meanwhile, the Vikings will likely be missing some key pieces on offense, which lowers their scoring ceiling as well. When you combine their scoring averages for the season, it comes out to roughly 46 points, so the Under is just a slight lean when factoring in a short week and possible absences.
Key trend: Under is 4-1 in the Vikings last five home games.
Ben Roethlisberger props
- Passing yards: 256.5 (Over -115, Under -115)
- Interceptions: 0.5 (Over -130, Under +100)
- Passing attempts: 35.5 (Over -105, Under 125)
- Longest passing completion: 37.5 (Over -120, Under -110)
I'd lean slightly on the Under of Roethlisberger's passing yards prop. He's split going over that total in his past six games and is averaging 244.4 passing yards per game on the road this season. This could be a scenario where Pittsburgh could elect to run Najee Harris against a favorable matchup, which would reduce Big Ben's passing opportunities.
Kirk Cousins props
- Passing touchdowns: 1.5 (Over -120, Under -110)
- Passing yards: 252.5 (Over -115, Under -115)
- Interceptions: 0.5 (Over +130, Under -160)
- Completions: 22.5 (Over -125, Under -105)
- Passing attempts: 33.5 (Over -125, Under -105)
- Longest passing completion: 36.5 (Over -120, Under -110)
The Over on Cousins' passing touchdown prop is a solid value at -120. He's thrown multiple touchdowns in nine of his 12 games played this season, including in five straight contests heading into Thursday.
Player props to consider
Diontae Johnson total receiving yards: Over 81.5 (-115). The volume alone makes this an attractive number for Johnson. He's seeing 12.8 targets per game over the last month and is averaging 96 yards per game over that stretch. Patrick Peterson returning for this game does give me some pause, but the Vikings are allowing 12.4 yards per reception this season (third-most in the NFL).
Najee Harris total rushing yards: Over 70.5 (-115). Harris is another player where the volume is ideal. Since the bye, he's averaged over 19 carries per game. Harris will now face a Vikings run defense that has allowed 154 rushing yards per game over the last two weeks.